Having someone break into your home is a traumatic event. The sanctity of a space you once thought safe above all others simply disappears.
That’s bad enough on its own, but what would you do if you actually encountered an interloper face-to-face? Well, in the case of one man from South Euclid, Ohio, you’d give him a hug.
Their “visitor,” who turned out to be 17 years old, didn’t answer any of their questions. The couple quickly realized he was non-verbal.
The encounter could’ve gone south very quickly. Confused by the lack of response, the couple might have incorrectly assumed the worst.
Meanwhile, as the police were trying to sort the situation out, they received another call. Suddenly, what was happening in the home made perfect sense.
“While responding to that location, dispatch notified officers of a second call, one involving a juvenile male that had walked away from a nearby group home,” the South Euclid Police Department wrote on their Facebook page. “Staff members were now scouring the area, searching for him.”
Not only were they looking for him, the situation had the potential to be a little tricky. As the police department continued on their post, “According to the caller, the juvenile has severe mental health issues and may become combative.”
Police quickly raced to the scene. Who knows what the responding officers expected to encounter?
What they found, though, surely must have warmed their hearts. The homeowner and the teenager were sitting on the front porch together.
The man had talked to the teen as they waited for the authorities. Soon enough, they’d built up a familiarity.
“It’s a good thing the homeowner had the presence of mind [to keep his cool],” Joe Di Lillo, the South Euclid police public information officer, said. And the gentleman’s graciousness didn’t end there.
The teen began to walk toward the patrol car, ready to go back home. “He was aware of what was going on,” Di Lillo said.
But the homeowner wanted to provide just a little more comfort, so he rode with the young man. When they arrived at his residence, the older man shook his hand and enfolded him in a hug.
“The homeowner did a tremendous job,” Di Lillo said. “It’s residents like this that truly are what we want and what we need in South Euclid.”
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